Intent on drawing forth Sauron’s hidden strength, the Army of the West marches on Mordor. Seemingly bent on self destruction, they provocatively cross the Anduin, set the fields of Morgul Vale aflame and proclaim the return of the Lords of Gondor.

The Black Gates Open

At the Morannon, Aragorn arrays his host on two great hills before the Towers of the Teeth, and the Captains of the West ride to parley with the mysterious Mouth of Sauron, an ambassador of the Dark Tower. Bt instead they are shocked with the display of Sam and Frodo’s gear – as Denethor put it, it does indeed semm as though the fool’s hope has failed. Soon Sauron’s forces pour out of the Black gate, surrounding the Army of the West.

What do you think about the strategies of Gandalf and Aragorn? Are they heedless to even enter Morgul Vale, and why does Gandalf insist on Aragorn’s return be heralded? Who is the Mouth of Sauron? What is his background? And does Gandalf merely hope at the very end, or does he realise something that his companions do not?

We’ll also take a closer look at Pippin. What are his motivations, and how does this cheerful hobbit face up to the challenge of being a soldier of the White Tower?

Join us this weekend in #thehallofire as we explore the final chapter of Book 5 of Lord of the Rings.

Upcoming Topics:
July 12-13: Trees & Tolkien:
July 19-20: Tooks and Brandybucks
July 26-27: What fascinates you most about LoTR and Middle-earth?
August 2-3: RoTK, Book 6, Chapter 1: The Tower of Cirith Ungol.
August 9-10: Tolkien and Canon
August 16-17: Colours in Tolkien’s World
August 23-24: RoTK, Book 6, Chapter 2: The Land of Shadow:


Saturday Chat:
5:30pm ET (17:30)
[also 11:30pm (23:30) CET and 7:30am Sunday (07:30) AET]

Sunday Chat:
7:00 pm (19:00) CET
[also 1:00pm (13:00) ET and 3:00am (03:00) Monday morning AET]

ET = Eastern Time, USA’s East Coast
CET = Central European Time, Central Europe
AET = Australian East Coast

Having trouble working out a time zone near you? Try this.

Do you have a possible topic for Hall of Fire? Drop us a line at And don’t forget that you can check out previous chats here.